It’s been 2,5 years since we last redesigned our website. The website we created in the winter of 2013 could still hold it’s own (even in todays terms of quality), and we were still getting a lot of compliments for it. Also, to be very honest, we could have managed completely fine as a business with the old one.
Each year at the conclusion of the WebAward program, we ask our esteemed panel of WebAward judges a series of questions to help participants better understand what the judges are looking for and to improve the website recognition program for the next year.
On the survey last year we asked “When judging a site, what usually had the greatest positive impact on your score?” 35.6% of the judges responded that outstanding design was the thing that helped bring up a score. The criteria that had the second most responses was ease of use with 23.7%. Content was in third with 15.25% of the judges relying on this criteria the most.
At the other end of the scale, we also asked what had the most negative impact on your scores. Not surprising, 39% of the WebAward judges said that bad design was the top criteria when they scored a site poorly. Ease of use (18.6%) and Navigation (15.25%) also played a factor when the judges felt a website did not live up to its potential.
These results remind us that first impressions are important when developing a website. Even though the WebAwards uses seven equally weighted criteria to determine a websites final score. Judges are asked to review the site as though they were the target audience. They then add their experience and expertise and understanding of current web trends to provide a score for the entry.
With each entry being reviewed by up to five different judges, we then take the average of the top two scores to determine the entries final score. This way we strive to provide the most fair judging of any awards program available to the online marketing community.
To have your website judged by professionals in the 2017 WebAwards, enter at www.WebAward.org
Each quarterly 100-page issue provides actionable advice written by and for web professionals on topics ranging from web design and development to content strategy, and from website regulation to search engine marketing. Web Management and Marketing: The Peer-Reviewed Journal provides a high-quality, peer-reviewed forum to showcase innovative strategies, techniques and best practices employed by major brands, the public sector and not-for-profits around the world that maximize customer experience and ROI.
“In a world filled with opinion, temporary fixes, hacks and plenty of guessing; it is the perfect time to have a peer reviewed journal to help sort through the noise. Real world practical advice from the experts in their field – long overdue and most welcome.”
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Excellence deserves recognition and the Web Marketing Association is looking for experienced Internet professionals who can help judge the Websites that are entered into its 21st annual international WebAward competition, the standards-defining award program that sets industry benchmarks based on the seven criteria of a successful Web site. Interested individuals can submit their names for consideration using the WebAward Judges Nomination Form.
The 2017 WebAward Competition for Website development is currently accepting entries until May 31, 2017. Judging will begin in mid-June and run through early August.
Judges will consist of a select group of Internet professionals who have direct experience designing and managing Web sites,–including members of the media, interactive creative directors, site designers, content providers and webmasters – with an in-depth understanding of the current state-of-the-art in Web site development and technology. Past judges have included top executives from leading organizations such as Universal McCann, SapientNitro, T Rowe Price, Bridge Worldwide, Disney, Euro RSCG, Boeing, Huge, ING Direct, VML, Facebook, J. Walter Thompson, Gartner, Possible Worldwide, YUM!, Cuker Interactive, PayPal, Razorfish, Munich Re, Refinery, Ernst & Young, Magellan Health Service, Microsoft, R/GA, Family Cookbook Project, Saatchi & Saatchi, SAP, Starwood Hotel, and Website Magazine.
If you or someone some one in your organization would make a good judge, they can learn more and enter their name for consideration on the WebAward Judges Nomination Form.
“The vast majority of our judges return each year to participate again as a WebAward judge, but some need to take time off from judging and because of the popularity of the WebAwards there is a constant need for new judges”, said William Rice, President of the Web Marketing Association. “Prior to the beginning of the judging, we spend several weeks discussing the current state of Web development and how it should be recognized through the WebAwards. Being a WebAward judge is a valuable experience that helps the individual better understand overall Web development and of course looks impressive on a resume or corporate bio”.
Excellence deserves recognition and the Web Marketing Association is pleased to announce the call for entries for its 21st annual international WebAward competition. The WebAwards are the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks based on the seven criteria of a successful Web site. It recognizes the individual and team achievements of Web professionals all over the world who create and maintain outstanding Web sites. The deadline for entry for the 2017 WebAwards is May 31, 2017. A complete list of past winners and this year’s entry form can be found at www.webaward.org.
Websites are judged on seven criteria, including design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copy writing and ease of use and receive a numeric score. Each WebAward entry is judged against other entries in its industry category and then against an overall standard of excellence. Entrants also benefit from receiving valuable feedback from the WebAwards professional judging panel on their Web site development efforts.
This year’s top awards will include:
A “Best of Industry” WebAward will be given in each of the 96 industry categories, including financial services, medical, small business, travel, advertising, transportation and government.
The competition’s highest honor, the 2017 WebAward “Best of Show,” will be given to the one site that the judges believe represents the pinnacle of outstanding achievement in Web development. Last year’s Best of Show winner was BETC Paris for their outstanding work on The End of Society Simulator. The site was also recognized as Best Entertainment Website and Best Media Website and Best Mobile Website.
The Web Marketing Association will also recognize the interactive agency winning the most awards in the competition with the “Top Interactive Agency” WebAward. TravelClick, Inc. was named Top Agency at the 2016 WebAward Competition, taking home 29 WebAwards in 2016. The Top Agency Award is given to recognize the consistently outstanding development going on at interactive firms.
The WebAward Top Agency award recognizes consistency of effort and is given to the interactive agency that wins the most WebAwards in a given year. All locations and offices of a specific agency will be consolidated for the purpose of determining the winner of this award. Each entrant will be awarded points based on the level of award for each award received. A Best of Show will be worth 10 points, Best of Industry 5 points and each Outstanding award 3 points and a Standard of Excellence 1 point. The agency with the most points will be awarded the Top Agency Award for 2016.
Each year, many agencies and some corporations win multiple awards and deserve additional recognition. This year, we will recognize each organization that wins 6 or more WebAwards with an Outstanding Interactive Developer trophy. In 2016, there were 14 agencies recognized with this prestigious award.
Interactive and advertising agencies that win a 2017 WebAward will automatically be included in the Award Winning Agency Database with a free premium listing.
Judging for the 2017 WebAwards will take place in June through August and winners will be announced in September. Judges will consist of a select group of Internet professionals who have direct experience designing and managing Web sites,–including members of the media, interactive creative directors, site designers, content providers and webmasters – with an in-depth understanding of the current state-of-the-art in Web site development and technology. Past judges have included top executives from leading organizations such as Universal McCann, SapientNitro, T Rowe Price, Bridge Worldwide, Disney, Euro RSCG, Boeing, Huge, ING Direct, VML, Facebook, J. Walter Thompson, Gartner, Possible Worldwide, YUM!, Cuker Interactive, PayPal, Razorfish, Munich Re, Refinery, Ernst & Young, Magellan Health Service, Microsoft, R/GA, Family Cookbook Project, Saatchi & Saatchi, SAP, Starwood Hotel, and Website Magazine.
Check out our Web Marketing Association Facebook Page and be sure to like us as we will be providing hints and tips on how to improve your chances on winning a top award though out the award program entry period.
The 2017 WebAwards are sponsored by the following leading organizations: EContent Magazine, iContact, PR.com, ad:tech conferences, Cranberry Radio, and Website Magazine. The Web Marketing Association thanks these companies for their commitment to the entire online marketing community.
To enter the 20th annual WebAward Competition for Website Development, please visit our website and create a nominator account.
eTail, launched in 1999, is the premiere multi-channel retail conference dedicated to supporting the growth of the retail industry through high-level networking and extensive thought leadership. eTail West was launched as part of the eTail Conference series to speak to the unique challenges facing retailers looking to grow their brand in the market.
This month, the Web Marketing Association is holding a drawing to win a free full conference pass to two outstanding industry conferences.
ad:tech New York – November 2-3, Javits Center NYC — From Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups, innovators across industries converge to discuss the new era of advertising and marketing technology. This 20th Anniversary of ad:tech looks to be the most comprehensive yet with exciting hands-on exhibitions, invaluable learning opportunities, and the players reimaging the future of the industry.
NetFinance Interactive – Nov 29-Dec 1, Carlsbad CA — The event for FS executives, NetFinance Interactive is the one-stop shop for digital and multi-channel thought leaders. It’s an event where you’ll learn, gain inspiration and find solutions for your business – all while building lasting relationships.
To enter either drawing or both, visit the WMA Contest Page before the end of day on October 25, 2016.
If I’ve learned anything in the past decade of running a software consulting company, it’s that redesigning your own website is an extremely difficult endeavour, just for the sheer fact that you are your own client with extremely high expectations. This made me cautious to any undertaking that involved a redesign of our website.
But, our team wasn’t happy with the current state of affairs and wanted to change things. The designers wanted to create a completely new look and feel. The developers weren’t happy with the code, mostly because we’ve increased our development standards so much since then.
Everyone just felt that we’ve improved so much over the past 2,5 years and that our website should show it. We recently celebrated the company’s 10 year anniversary and felt this was a good occasion to do a redesign. So we threw caution to the wind and went for it.
Who are we doing this for?
Whenever you approach a major task like a redesign, you need to have a clear idea of why are you doing it, and what are the business goals you want to achieve.
We set out with a simple, but important, process:
- Analyzing existing website traffic – we went into Google Analytics and researched in-depth where our visitors are coming from and what pages are they visiting
- Defining personas – who are our main visitors, why do they come to our website and what do they care about?
After that, we defined two primary personas that we’d be building the site for. All subsequent decisions would be made with these two personas in mind.
- The Client – someone who wants to build a digital product. He/she may be a manager at an established company, running their own startup or working at an agency. The Client is looking for a quality design/development shop that can build the product or work in cooperation with his/her team. The Client has a rough vision of the product and a dedicated budget.
Presenting the work
Probably the most important part of our website is presenting the work we do in the form of case studies. It’s one thing to say we do good work, it’s another to actually put it up on display.
From a branding perspective, we wanted each case study to be branded according to the clients (or projects) individual brand. If we were to present this work “inside” the Infinum website, the brand would be mixed up with the Infinum brand so we wanted to avoid that.
Also, we wanted to make it easy for the visitor to jump in and out of different case studies. We thought the idea of having a case study pop out, and then pop back in after you’re done viewing the case would do the trick.
For this, we built a custom case display system we call “Zoomer”. We prototyped the interactions and animations for Zoomer in Keynote and Adobe Flash (yes, Flash is still good for something) and we immediately fell in love with the concept. You can see it on our Homepage or in the Client work sections.
We do a lot of stuff internally that’s not billable client work. It’s either productized software (like Productive), education initiatives (like iOS/Android talks or Infinum Academy) or open source contributions.
We do this for a variety of different reasons:
- it improves our internal processes
- it improves our skill that we leverage later for Client Work
- we use a lot of open source, so it makes sense to give back to the community
- it’s fun to do so it’s kind of a creative outlet for us
Our old website didn’t talk about this part of Infinum enough, so we needed to change that. We created Our stuff where we will showcase this aspect of the company.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most important Personas visiting our website is the New Hire. Our old website had the Careers section listed as a 2nd tier item, somewhere under the “About” section. We wanted to raise the importance of this.
More importantly here was to convey the work atmosphere, and the way we take care of everybody (gym, health checks, ..). So, an imperative here was to use only real photos, no stock photography. No bullshit, just the real stuff.
And when it comes to real photos, it doesn’t get more real than this. For the People section, we wanted people to be able to express their own personality, so instead of doing professional photos of the crew, we told everyone to take a selfie of themselves.
What we learned from this is that we need to work on educating people what a selfie actually is.
There’s no About page
Currently, our website doesn’t have an About page, and this is on purpose.
We figured it’s kind of stupid to have a special About page, since the whole website is basically about us. The best way to find out “About” Infinum is to:
- check out our Client work
- see the People you’ll be working with (either as a client or potential employee)
- read our blog posts
I just hate lengthy mission statements and wanted to avoid talking about how great we are and let our work speak for ourselves.
Hiring us is now even easier
We improved our Request For Quote (RFQ) form to make it even easier to Hire us for any projects you might have. We scaled down the number of questions, while staying true to the facts we need to know before engaging in a project:
- About you and your business
- About your project
- Your deadlines
- Your budget
- Your target audience
A lot of thought went into selecting the right typography. This was also a mini rebranding event for us since we’re changing our base typography set.
We wanted to choose a clean typeset, but also one that has character and that would leave an impact. The idea was to avoid trendy and overused fonts like Futura, Circular and Proxima. Those are some great fonts but we wanted to try something different.
After bouncing around a couple of ideas and testing a number of different fonts, we fell in love with the monolinear geometric grotesque typeface GT Haptik. It has a regular and rotalic style, and includes alternate versions of certain characters (like G, C etc…) that also have a strong influence on optical legibility.
A continuing story
For the backend, we use a custom CMS. Apart from serving blog posts, it also handles RFQs, Client surveys, Event signups and a couple of other doo-dads. All the copy editing is done via Phrasing, making it simple to tweak any wording when we feel like it.
The old website was built on Bootstrap because…well, everything was built in Bootstrap back then. In the meantime, Bootstrap proved not so great at doing everything, so we ditched it and went with a custom set of frontend technologies that would be more flexible and easier to maintain in the future.
As an example, some of the techniques we used include:
- SUSY – the subtext for this project says it all – “CSS Libraries are a bloated mess of opinions about how to do your job. Why let the table-saw tell you where to put the kitchen?”
- Lazyr – Lazy loading of images keeps everything running smoother, especially on mobile
- BEM methodology – Block Element Modifier is a methodology, that helps you to achieve reusable components and code sharing in the front-end.
- SVG images – all around we use Scalable Vector Graphics. This especially makes sense on retina displays.
It took us about 2.5 months of working on the website in tandem with client work to get it out the door. We launched the beta version at our 10-year anniversary party. A couple of our closest friends and partners got a glimpse, gave us feedback, and we improved on that feedback.
The devil is in the details, and there is a bunch of special details scattered all around the site for you to find. We don’t want to give anything away, so browse for yourself and explore.
We hope you like it, and if you have any comments, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Enter to win a copy of Domains 360, A new book about the Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names by Peter Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine.
To enter, visit the WMA Contest Page before Friday, September 23rd.
Visit our WMA drawing page to enter. The deadline for entering is Thursday, October 29th at 5pm EST. Winner will be notified on October 30th and posted to our WMA Facebook page.